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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes


Constitution Year 2005
Last Amended not amended
Source World Intellectual Property Organization
Translation Unofficial translation by ARDA staff from French source
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2


…The following legal and constitutional principles must be guaranteed:
- The protection and inclusion of ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities in the general system of good governance…

Article 1

Burundi is a republic that is independent, sovereign, secular, democratic, united and respectful of its ethnic and religious diversity.

Article 13

All Burundians are equal in merit and in dignity. All citizens enjoy the same rights and are entitled to the equal protection of the law. No Burundian shall be excluded from the social, economic or political life of the nation because of race, language, religion, sex or ethnic origin.

Article 22

All citizens are equal before the law, which ensures equal protection.
No one shall be discriminated against because of their origin, race, ethnicity, sex, color, language, social position, religious, philosophical or political beliefs, or because of physical or mental disability due to suffering from HIV/AIDS or any other incurable disease.

Article 31

Freedom of expression is guaranteed. The State respects freedom of religion, of thought, conscience and opinion.

Article 61

No one can abuse the rights recognized by the Constitution or by the law to undermine national unity, peace, democracy, the independence of Burundi, detract from the secularity of the state or in any other way violate this Constitution.

Article 78

Political parties, in their organization and their operation, shall conform to democratic principles. They must be open to all Burundians and their national character must also be reflected in their management. They may not advocate violence, exclusion, or hatred in any of its forms, including those based on ethnicity, region, religion or gender.

Article 80

The law guarantees non-interference of government in the internal functioning of political parties, except for restrictions necessary for the prevention of ethnic, political, regional, religious or gender-based hatred, and for the maintenance of public order.

Article 299

No procedure [to revise the Constitution] can be accepted if it interferes with national unity, cohesion of the people of Burundi, the secularity of the state, reconciliation, democracy, or the territorial integrity of the Republic.


1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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